In a small classroom at Woodstock Elementary School, something amazing is happening. Volunteers from the community are showing up by the dozens to work with struggling students who need a little extra help in mathematics, reading, science or social studies or with advanced students who need more instruction.
Camp Learnalotta (TM pending) was the brain child of Bonny Keheley, the school’s academic coach and a veteran educator with more than 32 years of experience. Troubled by watching volunteers squeeze into any available space in hallways or the school’s media center, Keheley transformed an empty room into Camp Learnalotta, where children work in small groups with tutors at least two days a week. The volunteer tutors include business leaders, parents, grandparents and retired educators meeting in half-hour sessions with the more than 200 students who walk through the camp’s door each week.
“Students come at all points of progress,” Keheley said. “It allows children a place that’s safe and noncompetitive, where everyone is free to make a mistake or speak up.”
The hard work paid off: Woodstock Elementary was named a Reward School last year, which means it is among the highest performing Title I schools in the state. Title I schools have high percentages of children from low-income families.
Camp Learnalotta is now in its fifth year of operation at the Cherokee County elementary school. To learn more about the camp, go to http://www.tinyurl.com/rtitwes.